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Corporate Ladder: your weekly guide to executive appointments


South Australia’s premier executive appointments column tracking the movements of those driving the state’s public and private sectors. Plus the latest executive recruitment opportunities.

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Grant Stevens
Kevin Scarce

Top cop’s new board gig

Police Commissioner and State Emergency Coordinator Grant Stevens has joined the board of teenage early intervention and support organisation Operation Flinders.

The state’s top cop replaces Variety SA Vice Chair Janet Leske on the foundation’s board.

Stevens said he was looking forward to playing a part in transforming the lives of young people through the organisation’s early intervention program.

“Operation Flinders strives to give young people a future of vast opportunities and shows them they have control over their lives, apart from the cards they have been dealt,” he said.

The appointment comes amid a leadership change for the not-for-profit, with former South Australian Governor Kevin Scarce stepping up as Chair to replace SA Power Networks CEO Rob Stobbe.

Stobbe has been on the Operation Flinders board for 10 years and said he was leaving the chairmanship “knowing the Foundation is under excellent future leadership with Kevin taking on the role”.

Operation Flinders, who are this year celebrating their 30th anniversary, also last week announced the appointment of SA Police Chief Inspector Wendy Mazik as a board observer.

Matthew Kay
Morné Engelbrecht

Beach Energy boss resigns

Beach Energy Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Kay has resigned after five years in the top job.

The South Australian oil and gas company announced on Tuesday that Kay had tendered his resignation to the board and was leaving to “pursue other professional opportunities”.

Chief Financial Officer Morné Engelbrecht has been appointed interim CEO while the company searches for a replacement.

Beach Energy Chair Glenn Davis touted Kay’s role in “transforming” the company into a “strategically diverse business”.

“Over nearly six years, Matt delivered on the company’s growth ambitions via the strategic acquisition of Lattice Energy and oversaw the commencement of our current development programs in the Victorian Otway and Perth Basins,” he said.

“I want to thank Matt for his effort in helping transform Beach into the multi-basin upstream oil and gas company it is today.”

Beach Energy was ranked South Australia’s fourth-largest company on the South Australian Business Index last month, with the energy company’s revenue exceeding $1.5 billion a year.

However, the company faced a major share price dip this year when it downgraded its estimate of oil reserves in the Cooper Basin by 18.4 million barrels.

Kay joined Beach Energy in May 2016 after two years as Executive General Manager of PNG-focused Oil Search Limited.

His 30 years in the oil and gas industry has included stints with both Woodside Petroleum and Santos.

The resignation from Beach Energy came on the same day the company finalised its commitment with Santos to build a $220 million carbon capture and storage project in Moomba.

The outgoing CEO said the venture “capped off” his task of diversifying Beach Energy’s holdings.

“The company’s future is extremely bright and I wish Morné and the team all the best,” Kay said.

Catherine Humphreys-Scott
Lara Byrne

National PR hire for young Adelaide comms firm

Fledgling Adelaide marketing and communications agency CALLIE has appointed Mitsubishi Australia’s PR Manager Catherine Humphreys-Scott as Director of Communications and Public Relations.

The Goodwood-based consultancy firm also this week announced the permanent appointment of Lara Byrne as Communications Manager after welcoming her to the agency in January on a maternity leave contract.

Originally from London, Humphreys-Scott moved to Australia from the UK in 2017 to lead marketing on the South Australian Government’s Open State Festival.

She also spent a year and a half with the RAA in senior communications and marketing roles before moving to Mitsubishi where she managed national level PR campaigns and corporate communications.

Her overseas experience includes time with US pharmacy giant Walgreens, DDC Public Affairs and Vodafone.

Her new role at CALLIE will see her responsible for developing the agency’s comms and PR practice while leading their key business accounts, the firm says.

Meanwhile, Byrne has been responsible for CALLIE’s health, education and community sector clients during her first nine months with the agency.

Prior to joining CALLIE, she spent 16 years as a marketing manager with national retail property group Vicinity Centres – overseeing marketing across the company’s South Australian assets, including the Colonnades, Arndale and Hollywood Plaza shopping centres.

CALLIE Director Callie Rose, who founded the consultancy firm in 2017, said the expansion of the agency’s staff to seven people came off the back of the existing team’s “significant efforts” and “organic growth from existing clients and agency partners”.

“Catherine and Lara are fantastic additions to CALLIE and bring a wealth of integrated experience and some additional skillsets to our senior team,” Rose said.

Rebecca Pearce
Vincent Ciccarello

Movements in the Arts

Slingsby Theatre Company has appointed Rebecca Pearce, CEO of the Adelaide UNESCO City of Music office, as their new Executive Director.

Pearce joins the Parkside-based arts organisation after four years with Adelaide's UNESCO outpost.

Her 20 years in the arts has seen her take on senior roles at the Adelaide Festival Centre, first as Program Executive, Theatre and Dance, and then most recently as Associate Director of Programming.

After starting her career with the Adelaide Fringe in 2000, she has worked at arts festivals in Edinburgh, Dublin, Singapore and Paris, as well as a four-year stint as Program Director with the Brisbane Festival.

Slingsby Artistic Director and CEO Andy Packer noted that Pearce’s appointment marked a reunion for the artistic duo.

“I was fortunate to work alongside Beck on the 2002 Adelaide Fringe and I am incredibly excited that after years of independently gathering international producing and touring experience, we will once again collaborate as we write the next chapter of Slingsby’s story,” he said.

Elsewhere in the arts, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello has been appointed to the board of the Adelaide UNESCO City of Music office.

It’s Ciccarello’s fifth ongoing board/committee appointment, with the ASO boss already a Director at the Arts Industry Council of South Australia, the Adelaide Italian Festival, the State Government’s Music Education Strategy Advisory Panel and Adelaide University’s Creativity and Culture Advisory Board.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Micro-X is an ASX-listed, hi-tech company, developing and commercialising a range of innovative products for global health and security markets. The Board seeks to appoint a highly accomplished Non-Executive Director with demonstrated experience of corporate and operational leadership within ASX or other jurisdiction listed entities with rapid business growth. This is an attractively remunerated governance role providing the opportunity to collaborate at the highest level while contributing to the strategic direction of this ASX-listed success story.

disAbility Living is governed by a skills based, voluntary Board. At an exciting time for the organisation, with a recently refreshed executive driving key strategic and operational initiatives, the opportunity now exists for the appointment of new Board Members.  Expressions of interest are sought from appropriately qualified and proven senior executives and non-executive directors with experience in finance and commerce, legal, technology, property and/or clinical services/allied health.

Due to an internal transfer, this Manager Community Services vacancy has arisen at Resthaven Incorporated in the growing eastern and inner north-eastern suburbs community services sector. Responsible to the Executive Manager, Community Services, this leadership role will have direct oversight of the Paradise and Eastern Community Services portfolio responsible for a budget of $11.6m and a staff of around 200. Professionals with extensive management experience in aged care, health care or human services are encouraged to apply.

A significant period of growth at Lutheran Care has created an Executive Officer to provide vital support to the Chief Executive Officer and the Board. Applications are invited from versatile and highly organised administrators with demonstrated experience in a comparably demanding executive support role. Demonstrated experience providing support to a Board will be well regarded.

The City of Salisbury has two positions open. The Manager People & Culture leads the development and delivery of contemporary strategic and operational HR services, including leading, motivating and developing established and specialised HR teams. The Manager Economic Development & Urban Policy is responsible for enhancing economic activity through the delivery of projects and programs which attract investment, support business and shape the future growth of the city.

Gail Murphy-Nakkash

Pitcher finds a new partner

National accounting and business advisory firm Pitcher Partners has appointed Gail Murphy-Nakkash as their inaugural Adelaide CEO.

The firm, which is part of a network of six firm across the country and specialises in middle-market clientele, announced last week that Murphy-Nakkash would be joining them in the newly created leadership role after recently relocating her family from Sydney to Adelaide.

With more than 35 years in business, Murphy-Nakkash is a former General Manager, Global Business Services at Konica Minolta Australia.

She has also held senior managerial roles with office supplies companies COS, Lyreco Group and Moore Business Systems, as well as business consultancy and marketing firms IPMG, the Ball Group and Murphy Art Design.

“After years of holding global and national roles, I made a conscious decision to find a locally based role where I can be part of building a great company culture and driving success,” Murphy-Nakkash said, adding that it is “such an exciting time to be in South Australia, COVID-19 and investments such as Lot Fourteen have added energy to the business community to innovate and grow”.

She joins Pitcher Partners’ Adelaide Managing Principal Ben Brazier in leading the firm’s Hutt Street office.

Brazier said it was “important to bring in someone with a diverse background who could drive growth and build capabilities in a newly created leadership role”.

“Gail joins us with significant experience in leadership through change, managing multiple teams, while knowing the importance of our clients through that process.”

Erryn Dryga

Career move for Convention Centre veteran

Long-time Adelaide Convention Centre Senior Sales Manager Erryn Dryga has been appointed to the newly created position of Business Development Manager at the National Wine Centre of Australia.

Dryga’s move to the Botanic Road tourism hotspot comes after more than nine years with the Convention Centre, first as Business Development Manager and then later as Senior Sales Manager, Conventions and Exhibitions.

Prior to that, she spent four years with Sealink Travel Group as Project Coordinator and Business Development Executive. She has also sat on the South Australian Tourism Export Council as Deputy Chair.

Dryga’s new employers, who have tasked her with leading the centre’s post-COVID future, tout her industry connections and ability to bring “prestigious, economically beneficial and legacy-building events to Adelaide”.

“We are thrilled to have secured Erryn for this important role within the team and look forward to an exciting era for National Wine Centre of Australia – watch this space,” National Wine Centre General Manager Jason Bird said.

Kara Redding

Adelaide holding company poaches Melbourne VP

Newly established Adelaide private investment firm Continua Capital has appointed EM Advisory Vice President Kara Redding as Director, Finance and Growth.

Redding, a certified public accountant in the United States, has been with Victorian strategic advisory firm EM Advisory since 2019 and was promoted to Vice President in May this year.

Educated at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, she was a senior consultant at US advisory firms BKD and Armada Solutions before moving to Melbourne in 2019.

Her appointment at Continua Capital will see her lead the start-up’s corporate finance functions and support their portfolio companies.

It comes three months after Continua Capital made its first acquisition – buying up Queensland hotel technology business InTouch Data.

It also takes the number of employees at the Ebenezer Place start-up to six alongside the company’s 20 staff members at InTouch Data.

CEO Shane Cheek, who founded Continua Capital in 2019,  said Redding will be “a welcome addition to our executive team and I look forward to working with her as we grow our business and pursue new acquisitions over the coming month”.

Christopher Hall

Public sector fund adds to board

State Government investment corporation Funds SA has appointed Ellerston Capital executive Christopher Hall as a Director.

It’s the second South Australian board appointment for Hall, with the 30-year business veteran already Investment Committee Chairman at South Australian accounting and wealth advisory firm Perks.

Hall has spent time with several high-profile investment funds, including BlackRock, Argo Investment, Goldman Sachs and National Asset Management.

He is currently Chief Investment Officer with Sydney-based Ellerston Capital.

Commenting on his latest appointment, Hall said he was “very pleased to be joining the Board of Funds SA and look forward to making a contribution to the future growth and development of the organisation”.

Funds SA manage South Australia’s public sector superannuation funds and, according to the corporation, have more than $40 billion in assets under management.

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